Hi, I have been tobacco free for 12 days now and I was wondering if it is advisable to stop using the nicotine patch and go cold turkey ? I was a pack a day smoker for years. Still having coughing and chest tightness.
I used the patch for 6 weeks - and I now have 1,231 days. I would not take any short cuts but I know nothing about your smoking history. Do what feels right for you.
Welcome to our community!
Congratulations on your decision to quit smoking and your 12 days of freedom. Afraid that amount of time is not enough to feel any relief from the chest tightness or coughing. Have you had it checked out by a doctor? Might be a good idea!
The most important thing you can do right now is to educate yourself on what nicotine does to your body and mind. To that end, I highly recommend Allen Carr's “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking.” This is an easy and entertaining read. Here is a link to a free PDF version of it:
You should also read the posts here and perhaps go to the pages of folks who you think might be helpful. You might visit whyquit.com, quitsmokingonline.com and livewell.com for the good information contained there. @https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/best-of-ex has lots of blogs written by members of this site with their experiences and guidance.
After you have completed the recommended reading, it will be time to make an informed decision on whether to continue on the patch or not. I don't know what strength you are using - but I believe it is recommended that you lower the dose over time so that your nicotine withdrawal is more gradual. I am wondering why you are thinking about going off of it?
The idea is to change up your routines so the smoking associations are reduced. Drink your coffee with your OTHER hand. If you always had that first smoke with your coffee, try putting your tennies on right out of bed, going for a quick walk, then taking your shower and THEN your coffee! Rearrange the furniture in the areas you used to smoke so the view is different. Buy your gas at a different station. Take a different route to work. Take a quick walk at break time where the smokers AREN'T.
You need to distract yourself through any craves. You can take a bite out of a lemon (yup - rind and all), put your head in the freezer and take a deep breath of cold air, do a few jumping jacks, go for a brisk walk or march in place, play a computer game. Don't let that smoking thought rattle around in your brain unchallenged. Sometimes you need to quit a minute or an hour at a time. You will need to be disciplined in the early days to distract yourself when a crave hits. Get busy! Here is a link to a list of things to do instead of smoke if you need some fresh ideas:
The conversation in your head in response to the "I want a cigarette" thought needs to be, "Well, since I have decided not to do that anymore, what shall I do instead for the three minutes this crave will last?" Then DO it. You will need to put some effort into this in the early days, but it gets easier and easier to do.
Stay close to us here and ask questions when you have them and for support when you need it. We will be with you every step of the way!
Hi Robert. I used the patch as well. I would recommend following the whole program.
I also smoked a pack/day for 38 years, used the patch for 2 weeks, but smoked the e-cigarette for another 3 weeks after that. Coming here, learning about the addiction, reading Alan Carr's book helped me stop using the e-cigarette before the day I had selected to quit it. If you read the documentation recommended by Nancy, that will help you make a decision which will work for you. Many of the Ex here did it cold turkey, but we all have different needs, so you need to do what is right for you!
Congratulations on reaching out, this community helped me to be where I am today: 551 Days of freedom, please trust them they have your interest at heart, really!!!
Hi Robert. I can't really advise you on the patch as I was a cold turkey (or what we call it here The specified item was not found.) quitter. Trust your instincts. If you feel the patch is helping, stay the recommended course. My personal feeling is that if you're recommended to take a drug for X days - you do. Like an antibiotic. Dale will probably come along and tell you of his experience about simply forgetting to put it on one day. Coughing is an after affect of quitting for many people. As is chest tightness. The latter simply being the tension created by quitting and that feeling of always being hungry or missing something. You say you're "still having" that feeling, which means to me it's not necessarily due to quitting. If you've been coughing for 12 days I would suggest seeing a doctor about it. In any event strong congratulations on those 12 days smoke free. You've come a LONG WAY! Many can't get past day one. You know?! Hang in.
Why do you feel you SHOULD ditch the patch? Something is obviously making you think that. What is it?
Are you using the correct dosage based upon the amount you were smoking at the time you quit?
I used 11 patches.
Forgot my 3rd day so went without. Did fine. Next day I felt I needed one. The second week I forgot to wear one 2 days in a row. I put one in my wallet with the promise I would put it on rather than smoke.
People who use the patch the full course go back to smoking at the same rate as everyone else.
Listen to your body. test yourself if you forget to wear it and see how you do.
I don't have an answer for your question, but good luck to you in your journey!
Welcome to EX,
You have gotten the best advice ever from those above. Remember that this is a one day at a time journey...it is not an event. Twelve days is wonderful...congratulations. Do all of the recommended reading and any more that you can find dealing with nicotine addiction. The keys to a successful, long term quit are education, support, and commitment. A lot of people have that house cleaning cough after they quit smoking but as Giulia advised, I would see a doctor and make sure nothing is going on.
I smoked for 47 years (with the exception of pregnancies and some failed short term quits) and quit "smart" turkey and have been quit for over 3 1/2 years. You are in the RIGHT place.
My last puff of cigarettes AND e-cigs was 11 days ago. I started the patch on 9/10. I did great for the first 7 days, then the past 3 days I feel a sort of withdrawal and a great deal of depression. The withdrawal doesn't seem as bad as when I quit cold turkey in 2005 (stayed off nicotine for almost 5 years then), but I wonder if I should just take it off and go through a week of bad withdrawals.
I've read a lot about the patch not being the right way to go, especially in Allan Carr's book and on the whyquit.com website. They say it just makes withdrawal last longer. I'm not sure what to do and I'm obsessed with wondering if I should stop the patch and go cold turkey (smart? turkey) or finish the patch and deal with this restlessness and worry.
Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Does anyone think that the patch just makes withdrawals last longer?
What are people's thoughts on how bad the first week really is? I have a lot of work travel coming up the next few weeks and I worry that I'm going to be miserable on a trip without nicotine.... I'm not sure what to do.
There is a psychological withdrawal that the patch does not affect that lasts much longer than the physical. Listen to your body.
That is the middle ground where you aren't depending on the patch for your success but you aren't mentally throwing yourself off a cliff.
If you forget to wear it, don't panic, see how you do. I forgot my third day and went without it. My fourth day I felt I needed it. The following week, I forgot two days in a row and stopped using it. I put one in my wallet with the promise I would put it on a wait rather than smoke. It sat in my wallet a full year. Never Needed It. Listen to your body. You are in control.
What To Expect In The First Four Months
Great, thank you for replying. I'm hoping the psychological withdrawal is what I'm facing now and that it's worse than the physical withdrawal... I just wish I could be more positive. Thanks for the encouragement!
There is no RIGHT, one-size- fits-all approach to quitting smoking. I took what Allen Carr had to say as I took all the information in that I read. He isn't ME, doesn't know me, and thus his advice may or may not be the final and absolute truth on the subject. If you are just a bit down, that may be the psychological aspect of quitting. If the patch isn't causing you physical discomfort, I see no reason for you to stop using it. I don't think IT is making you feel down. This quitting is a journey, with ups and downs and twists and turns. You just have to get through it in the early days the best that you can. As you do the reading, you will understand how nicotine affected your body (AND mind). You may be in mourning for your "friend," the one you turned to when you were lonely, or tired, or afraid, or stressed, or........
A LOT of people report feeling as you do - don't spend energy worrying about your decision. Get moving! Drink some ice cold water........and most important of all
Think you CAN!
Welcome to EX, I am so happy that jonescarp.aka.dale.Jan_2007 replied because he DID use the patch, I did not use anything but I was really sick so I COULDN'T smoke. I couldn't BREATHE. I agree with Youngatheart.7.4.12 that the patch is not causing you to feel down, it's part of the journey. I felt down around the same time and someone suggested that I try the patch, I knew there was no nicotine left in my body so there was no way I wanted to reintroduce it. I just rode it out and now it has been over 3 1/2 years and I have never regretting quitting, NEVER.
Glad you are here,
I smoked for 52 years the last 20 years was about a pack more or less a day before that I smoked 2 packs a day ! I have quit both ways cold turkey was very hard for me and when I used the patch the Withdrawal was not as intense I did not think the withdrawal was longer because most of the withdrawal is Mental . They seemed the same to me when I quit col turkey I only lasted 3 1/2 months then I messed up and because it had been so darn difficult I never tried to quit again for 10 + years !
My advice if it is working why take a chance but you could try stopping and if it is to much just slap that patch back on quickly ! I have seen many stop the patch to soon and their quits went up in smoke !
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